Thor: Ragnarok deserves every bit of praise it is receiving. I will confidently say that this is my favorite Marvel movie in the entire MCU. Do you remember how we were talking about my fear of Marvel becoming formulaic? Well, Ragnarok dispelled those fears entirely. It took what was best of the Avengers and best of Guardians and put them together. However, this film did so in an entirely original manner.
First, I think this movie provides the best iteration of some of these characters that we have seen, and, from what I have read, we have the director to thank for that. Loki is the god of mischief; however, we never really saw that in the first Avengers film. He was much more direct and destructive. The Loki we get in Ragnarok feels more like what Loki should be, conniving, self-serving, and subtle. As always, Mark Ruffalo played the Hulk and Banner perfectly. Even in light-hearted situations, he was able to insert enough gravity to his situation to elicit an emotional response from the viewers, especially when he was willing to give himself up to the Hulk potentially forever to save Thor’s people. I thought Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde would be the most powerful woman we saw on screen this year, but Cate Blanchett as Hela challenges that assumption. Who knew she was even capable of that? She was terrifying! Just as the goddess of death should be. If the first thing someone does in a movie is shatter Thor’s hammer with her hand, I am going to be afraid of her. The film also did an excellent job of showing just how brutal she is, and it did so with a catastrophic and beautiful scene. Conversely, Tessa Thompson engaged the audience with her pure and tragic portrayal of Valkyrie (I’m assuming she has a real name, but the credits list her as such). Valkyrie was a product of the carnage brought by Hela, but it was rewarding to see Valkyrie care again. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a redemption story, because Valkyrie was never in need of redemption. But it was good to see her have something worth fighting for. Jeff Goldblum completely caught me by surprise; his role was hilarious. His whole portion of the movie would have been approximately 35 per cent less interesting if he were not in this film. He nearly stole the show! Lucky for us, Chris Hemsworth was up to the challenge. If we get more movies with this version of Thor, he will very quickly become my favorite Marvel hero. I don’t actually have one right now, so there is no competition as it were. But this was my favorite version of Thor, yet. He was still determined, powerful, and stubborn, but he was allowed more personality than I have seen in other films. He casually defeated the catalyst of Ragnarok, sauntered as he outed Loki as a deceiver in front of their people, and used the same argument for both Banner and the Hulk. Which actually brings me to my next point. This movie played to Thor’s strengths well. He didn’t outwit his enemies or friends. Valkyrie, Hulk and Loki didn’t join him against Hela because of his charisma. He convinced his allies with his undying passion and defeated his enemies through determination and superior power. Admittedly, the trick to defeat Hela was clever, but it hardly compares to the cleverity exhibited by Stark or Batman. And I have to believe that he would’ve found a way to beat Hela outright if that is what was necessary.
Overall, the movie was great. The humor felt organic and original. The pace and dichotomy of the movie were strong positives, contrasting Hela and her destruction with Thor and his protection. And the fighting was the best I’ve seen in a Marvel film, Civil War included. Although, I am hoping and expecting Black Panther to change this.
My name is Chuck, and these are my thoughts. Now I would like to know what you think. How did you feel about the lighter tone in a Thor movie? Were you as awestruck by Hela as I was? Are you tired of Marvel, or did this keep you interested a bit longer? Leave a comment down below, and we’ll talk. Enjoy the day!